Report: VMware Set To Rebrand Its Public Cloud Service As 'vCloud Air'

VMware will soon rebrand its public cloud offering from vCloud Hybrid Service to "vCloud Air," according to a report from Gigaom Wednesday.

VMware unveiled vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) last May and began selling it last September. Since then, the vCHS acronym has morphed into the nickname "V-Cheese" in the VMware channel.

VMware partners have told CRN previously that the V-Cheese nickname is merely a convenient abbreviation and not a derogatory assessment of the service. But since "cheesy" means low quality, it's possible that some customers might see it as such.

VMware declined to comment on whether it's changing the name of vCloud Hybrid Service.

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Related: Partners Say VMware's Public Cloud Too Expensive, Lacks Unique Services

Some VMware partners feel vCloud Air would be a much easier way for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor to market its public cloud.

"I think the vCloud Hybrid Service name was a little confusing to folks and didn’t exactly roll off the tongue," one partner told CRN, speaking on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak publicly about company matters.

"vCHS as a name and model sounds too legacy, something you’d expect from a vendor that isn’t 'getting' cloud," another source close to VMware told CRN.

The re-branding could mean a lot for VMware's service provider partners who see vCHS as competition.

Tom Nats, managing partner at Bit Refinery, a Denver-based VMware service provider partner, told CRN he would welcome a branding change that doesn't include the word "hybrid," since that's what his company sells.

"If they offer a product called vCloud Air, which has features I can't provide myself and is delivered from data centers where we don't have a presence, we could consider selling it," Nats told CRN.

But other VMware partners feel vCloud Air sounds too much like Apple's marketing strategy for MacBook's and iPads.

Regardless of what partners think about the vCloud Air re-branding, it's clear that VMware needs to do something to raise the profile of its public cloud offering in the marketplace.

Several VMware partners told CRN earlier this month that vCHS is not generating much interest from customers. Some partners feel this is because vCHS lacks a "killer" use case beyond infrastructure-as-a-service.

VMware COO Carl Eschenbach said earlier this month that vCHS is seeing "very good uptake" with enterprise customers. And VMware has been talking up data from a study it commissioned recently that shows its cloud offers better price-for-performance that Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.